kitten car seatFor all the vilifying that often happens to poor parents, the biggest offenders in child seat belt safety aren’t parents making decisions between paying their electricity bill and having enough gas in their cars. Nope, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide study, it’s the college-educated wealthy set that are totally throwing caution to the wind when it comes to carpool duty.

Wsoctv.com reports that the study of 1,000 parents concluded that moms and dads who pulled down an income of $100,000 plus a year or had college educations were “more likely to skip the seat belt, car seat or booster seat.”

The report specifies that car accidents are the leading cause of death for children under 12 in the United States, and in 2011, 33 percent of the children who died were not “buckled up.”

One-third of the wealthier parents in the study (who pulled down 100K or more a year) went so far as to say that it was “acceptable” to leave their kid unbuckled if they weren’t driving far from the home — which is ironic considering that a reported 60 percent of car accidents involving children take place 10 minutes or so from the home. Only a reported 15 percent of considerably less affluent parents (making less than $35,000 a year) agreed that short car rides were reason enough to not buckle up.

Younger parents, as well as parents with graduate degrees, were more likely to engage in these risks as well:

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Across the board, younger parents were also more likely to find alternative reasons for not buckling their babes:

seatbeltstudy2 But when taking a peek at education, the more degrees a parent possessed, the more likely they were to agree with the following excuses:seatbeltstudy3And when assessing why other parents don’t buckle up, the top scenario seemed to also be “not driving far.”seatbeltstudy

So in short, more education and means does not exactly equal awareness on this particular vein of child safety.

(photo: Hues of Heather)